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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been noted that digital slotcar racing will likely require a unique set of rules and code of conduct. Analog racing has rules and an informal code of conduct. What might the rules and code of conduct be in digital racing?

Those who have experienced digital racing... and those who are devoting thought to it... let's brainstorm what might be required to make this form of racing fun, challenging, and something other than a high-speed blender to produce plastic car parts.

A note on brainstorming: In brainstorming, there are no "bad" ideas. We don't know enough yet to make judgements. What seems a silly idea may spark a new line of thought for someone else that is productive.

Judgement and critique are deferred until the ideas are out on the table for discussion. Which is another discussion thread.


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
One thing that might make digital starts less prone to smash-ups is a flying start. Racers make one or two laps in their respective positions and then start when the pole car hits the start/finish line. If there is a pit lane exit, it could be that a pace car could be used and this would provide a useful function for the pit lane.

Another helpful idea might be to allow the race director/administrator to call a yellow flag if there is a pile up that is going to take some sorting out. That is... on a yellow flag cars may continue to run... though at a slower pace and they may not pass. As in real-world races, this would allow cars that have fallen behind to close the gap. A flying start could then take place when all was sorted out.

Clearing the car in the other lane is the responsiblity of the car changing lanes. Contact can result in a penalty or disqualification. (See 1 and 2 below.)

I think a lot will fall on a race director/administrator. There will be more calls to make. If someone deliberately rams another car... either from behind or from the side in lane changing the race director/administrator could either: 1) penalize the offender a lap or 2) disqualify the offender... depending on how egregious the fault was perceived to be.

Whenever a car is replace on the track by a turn marshall, it is place in the inside lane.

Personally, I think digital racing lends itself to crash and burn rules, which will produce a bit more initial caution until racers get a feel for the track... and replicate real-world racing.

That is, if you crash and remain wheels up on the track, it's treated as a spin-out and a turn marshall can replace the car in the inside lane. However, if a car crashes and either leaves the track surface entirely, ends up upside down, or strikes a fixed barrier... it is pulled from the race as damaged beyond repair.

In this scenario, taking chances and pushing the envelope have real consequences... just as they do in a real-world race. Smacking the wall at a scale speed of 150 miles an hour... and having a turn marshall place the car back on the track is not realistic... though it is standard practice in analog racing. Either is, of course, acceptable... but they produce different kinds of racing and different mindsets for drivers.

Just some thoughts to get the pot boiling.


Mike
 

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QUOTE (ruhdwulf @ 25 Oct 2004, 20:33)One thing that might make digital starts less prone to smash-ups is a flying start. Racers make one or two laps in their respective positions and then start when the pole car hits the start/finish line. If there is a pit lane exit, it could be that a pace car could be used and this would provide a useful function for the pit lane.

Clearing the car in the other lane is the responsiblity of the car changing lanes. Contact can result in a penalty or disqualification. (See 1 and 2 below.)

I think a lot will fall on a race director/administrator. There will be more calls to make. If someone deliberately rams another car... either from behind or from the side in lane changing the race director/administrator could either: 1) penalize the offender a lap or 2) disqualify the offender... depending on how egregious the fault was perceived to be.

Whenever a car is replace on the track by a turn marshall, it is place in the inside lane.

Personally, I think digital racing lends itself to crash and burn rules, which will produce a bit more initial caution until racers get a feel for the track... and replicate real-world racing.

That is, if you crash and remain wheels up on the track, it's treated as a spin-out and a turn marshall can replace the car in the inside lane. However, if a car crashes and either leaves the track surface entirely, ends up upside down, or strikes a fixed barrier... it is pulled from the race as damaged beyond repair.

In this scenario, taking chances and pushing the envelope have real consequences... just as they do in a real-world race. Smacking the wall at a scale speed of 150 miles an hour... and having a turn marshall place the car back on the track is not realistic... though it is standard practice in analog racing. Either is, of course, acceptable... but they produce different kinds of racing and different mindsets for drivers.

Just some thoughts to get the pot boiling.


Mike
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

These are great ideas and im glad someone else is thinking along these lines. Let me add to them . . .

*** Rule #1 ***
Rear ending someone and causing a deslot should be a penalty.

*** Rule #2 ***
The responsibily of sucessfully changing lanes falls on the shoulders of the driver changing lanes. If he causes a deslot as a result of a lane change, he is penalized.

*** Rule #3 ***
There is a zone after the LC that is called the "Live Zone". In this area, a driver who just changed lanes is vulnerable to being hit, and if he is deslotted by another driver, the other driver is not penalized.

Rule #3 is important to stop slower drivers from intentionally switching in front of oncoming traffic, which might otherwise be a problem in serious racing. The "live zone" may be considered the area after the LC and before the next LC. Alternatively, the live zone might be the area from the LC to the next turn (house rule).

As a result of rule #3:
*Slower traffic may be advised to not switch lanes and just allow faster traffic to negotiate around. (Or risk being legally rammed by a faster driver.)

*Drivers engaged in a "duel" will be discouraged from making reckless passes. It would be very easy for a driver to inch ahead, cut in front of his opponent and then take his time to the next LC. This disrupt the rythym of the trailing driver and could be used to develop an artificial advantage as the trailing driver hits his brakes to avoid a collision and penalty. The live zone is very important to discourage this, and it also lets aggressive drivers "legally" develop a ramming technique.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QUOTE (darainbow @ 25 Oct 2004, 15:13)These are great ideas and im glad someone else is thinking along these lines. Let me add to them . . .

*** Rule #1 ***
Rear ending someone and causing a deslot should be a penalty.

*** Rule #2 ***
The responsibily of sucessfully changing lanes falls on the shoulders of the driver changing lanes. If he causes a deslot as a result of a lane change, he is penalized.

*** Rule #3 ***
There is a zone after the LC that is called the "Live Zone". In this area, a driver who just changed lanes is vulnerable to being hit, and if he is deslotted by another driver, the other driver is not penalized.

Rule #3 is important to stop slower drivers from intentionally switching in front of oncoming traffic, which might otherwise be a problem in serious racing. The "live zone" may be considered the area after the LC and before the next LC. Alternatively, the live zone might be the area from the LC to the next turn (house rule).

As a result of rule #3:
*Slower traffic may be advised to not switch lanes and just allow faster traffic to negotiate around. (Or risk being legally rammed by a faster driver.)

*Drivers engaged in a "duel" will be discouraged from making reckless passes. It would be very easy for a driver to inch ahead, cut in front of his opponent and then take his time to the next LC. This disrupt the rythym of the trailing driver and could be used to develop an artificial advantage as the trailing driver hits his brakes to avoid a collision and penalty. The live zone is very important to discourage this, and it also lets aggressive drivers "legally" develop a ramming technique.

Chris
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Good ideas Chris. Rule #3 strikes me as similar to the sort of conduct expected in a real-world race. Drivers of slower cars - or say a damaged car - are expected to yield to cars that are obviously much faster. Especially true when various classes are in the same race. Should slow cars yield to the inside or outside lane? Does anyone know what they're required to do in a real-world race?

And, as in a real-world race, the race director can black flag a racer for impeding progress or creating a hazardous situation. Basically, for unsportsmanlike conduct.


Mike
 

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QUOTE (ruhdwulf @ 25 Oct 2004, 21:28)Good ideas Chris. Rule #3 strikes me as similar to the sort of conduct expected in a real-world race. Drivers of slower cars - or say a damaged car - are expected to yield to cars that are obviously much faster. Especially true when various classes are in the same race. Should slow cars yield to the inside or outside lane? Does anyone know what they're required to do in a real-world race?

And, as in a real-world race, the race director can black flag a racer for impeding progress or creating a hazardous situation. Basically, for unsportsmanlike conduct.


Mike
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Mike,
I dont think it matters whether the slower driver takes the inside or outside. As long as he doesnt change lanes he will be safe from faster drivers approaching from behind. This leaves it up to the faster driver to maneuver around slower traffic.

I think this could add a real element of suspense to the race, because if a driver darts in front of another car, he is not "safe" until he makes it to the next LC (which FAIP is probably like 1-2 seconds)

Chris

BTW, I'm really excited about digital and think that with proper application it will be taken as seriously as analog, and traditioanlists will warm to it. On the upside, there is no need to deal with lane color stickers or to rotate lanes, and "riders" are now a thing of the past!
 

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QUOTE Rear ending someone and causing a deslot should be a penalty.

your rule 3 doesn't go far enough - strictly (blindly) enforcing rule 1 would mean if someone was close behind you , you could do an emergency stop (on a straight for example) and get the car behind disqualified!

Good thread. I think some of the rules (any rules) will be hard to impliment at all, and certainly to impliment fairly. A lot of the way groups will end up racing will come down to the spirit they wish - where they draw the line between sportsmanship, gentlemanly driving, and daring/ruthlessness.

I suspect the spirit will also affect the way any particular set of rules is implimented too, resulting in a different race experience at 2 clubs/groups of racers, even with identical rules!

But rules is a good starting place!
 

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QUOTE (astro @ 25 Oct 2004, 22:04)QUOTE Rear ending someone and causing a deslot should be a penalty.

your rule 3 doesn't go far enough - strictly (blindly) enforcing rule 1 would mean if someone was close behind you , you could do an emergency stop (on a straight for example) and get the car behind disqualified!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I agree, if you are trailing a driver who has not just used a LC and he slams on the brakes you could end up deslotting him. However, if he has just used a LC, he is vulnerable until he reaches the next LC. There might be a need for a rule #4 "Intentional Obstruction", but rear ending another car will not necessarily result in his deslotting and if you are trailing a car that has not changed lanes maybe you should keep some distance. (As soon as he changes lanes, he is vulnerable from behind.)

I envision running the web cam to record important races. That way there will be fair application of rules. But I agree, it will be differnt from club to club track to track.
 

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QUOTE *** Rule #3 ***
There is a zone after the LC that is called the "Live Zone". In this area, a driver who just changed lanes is vulnerable to being hit, and if he is deslotted by another driver, the other driver is not penalized.

This seems a sensible rule providing the driver behind cannot reasonably avoid the driver who has just changed lanes but I do not understand why the driver who has just changed lanes is more vulnerable unless he has changed immediately in front of a faster car. This sort of blocking is a fair tactic in my opinion and it is up to the faster driver to find a way around. Deliberate contact should be penalised (drive through penalty where there is a working pitlane?
 

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QUOTE (Taz @ 25 Oct 2004, 23:29)QUOTE *** Rule #3 ***
There is a zone after the LC that is called the "Live Zone". In this area, a driver who just changed lanes is vulnerable to being hit, and if he is deslotted by another driver, the other driver is not penalized.

This seems a sensible rule providing the driver behind cannot reasonably avoid the driver who has just changed lanes but I do not understand why the driver who has just changed lanes is more vulnerable unless he has changed immediately in front of a faster car. This sort of blocking is a fair tactic in my opinion and it is up to the faster driver to find a way around. Deliberate contact should be penalised (drive through penalty where there is a working pitlane?
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Rule#3 solves two problems:

1) When a slower car changes in front of a faster car and causes an accident. You could argue all day about whether it was a "fair pass", but ultimately it will take arbitration to sift through, and by that time tempers have flared.

2) A slower car deliberately slowing down or blocking a faster car. This may be OK if there are only 2 cars in the race, but with a 3rd or more cars, being stuck behind a blocker will be a nightmare.

It offers a way to easily and measurably enforce "courtesy" but also defines what contact is legal (It basically gives you liscence to ram cars that attempt sloppy passes or are intentionally blocking)

But if you dont like the rules, dont use them. I'm sure blocking is fun with one other driver.
 

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in F1 the rule is you can block only once... but in digital racing the implimentation of such a rule - and how long before you can block again as a completely seperate incident, probably make this difficult.

But it seems a shame to have to elimanate the tactic of blocking altogether...

(could be even more interesting in 6 car races with teams!!!!)
 

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'block once' might work, in an imformalish 'drivers actually wanted to abide by the rules' atmosphere! Whether 'block once' would add to the experience or not, I am not sure. I agree that indefinate blocking would probably be a pain in the ass!
 

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With digital, your track will now have a 'racing line', which encourages lane changes to give you the shortest possible lap distance. This is especially true with the scalextric corner lane changes.

When a car deslots, it should be returned to the track off the racing line, so as not to impede other racers.
 

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QUOTE (Jimster71 @ 26 Oct 2004, 00:25)With digital, your track will now have a 'racing line', which encourages lane changes to give you the shortest possible lap distance. This is especially true with the scalextric corner lane changes.

When a car deslots, it should be returned to the track off the racing line, so as not to impede other racers.
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Regarding scaly corner LCs, do you really think taking the LC is the fastest way through the curve? The racing line is marginally shorter . . . IF it is followed by a greater number of curves in the same direction as in the opposite direction. If you map it out, the scaly LCs dont really contribute to shorter lane length, plus youve got to cope with changing radius.

Just my opinion as it is not out yet and ive not tried it.
 

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I was thinking of a scenario where each corner could potentially be a lane change. Admittedly, that's not likely for a while, but I think it's the direction in which it could be heading.
 

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xlot has posted before about the time taken to think about executing a lane changing manoeuvre, speculating that the quickest you might need the next LC might be 10 metres.

It is very true that most slot layouts have more frequent and tighter turns than real race courses, and add to that our cars can reach scale 500mph rather than 200mph of 1:1 GT cars, not many people will be able to race 'racing line 2 lane changes per turn plus a few on the straights ready for the next turn' type racing! (Also the expense of the number of LC's required will be an offputting factor to most)

I think blst's automatic best line system is the only way to do that
 

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QUOTE (astro @ 26 Oct 2004, 00:45)xlot has posted before about the time taken to think about executing a lane changing manoeuvre, speculating that the quickest you might need the next LC might be 10 metres.

It is very true that most slot layouts have more frequent and tighter turns than real race courses, and add to that our cars can reach scale 500mph rather than 200mph of 1:1 GT cars, not many people will be able to race 'racing line 2 lane changes per turn plus a few on the straights ready for the next turn' type racing! (Also the expense of the number of LC's required will be an offputting factor to most)

I think blst's automatic best line system is the only way to do that
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm going to experiment with putting the LCs in differnt places. The carrera LSs are straights and i thought about putting them between the switchbacks to create a "racing line" but I think that would again contribute to making it harder to pass.

I'm inclined to use the LC's in "symmetrical" and "mixed" configurations so that times through given sections are roughly equal and may depend upon choices made before entering the section.
 

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OK! Hypothetical situation for you brainstormers!


Two newbie friends turn up at your race night and enjoy some side to side dicing like they have when they race together on their own. BUT..........they're about 33% slower than the regular hot shots! What could you do to pass them "legally"?

Mr.M
 

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QUOTE (Mr Material UK @ 26 Oct 2004, 08:14)OK! Hypothetical situation for you brainstormers!


Two newbie friends turn up at your race night and enjoy some side to side dicing like they have when they race together on their own. BUT..........they're about 33% slower than the regular hot shots! What could you do to pass them "legally"?

Mr.M
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There are 2 scenarios to this one.

1) they are being lapped.... so should they allow you to pass? Blue flags rule. Or by mutual agreement, if they are "fair", agree to drop inline and allow the faster, lapping car through, then resume battle. If they dont, thats because they are involved in a battle.... and anyway - there newbies, there gonna crash, so be patient and hang back a few minutes.
2) Your racing for position, and then its anyones game. You have to pass legally, so like real racing, you wait for one of them to make a mistake and pass clean. If they dont make a mistake and you finish the race in 3rd, thats the way it is...

Because someone is slower, doesnt mean you have the automatic right to be infront of them. A faster racer has to be a smarter.more patient and a more understanding racer.

CoolS
 

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exactly cool! that's the way I see it too.

You may try to instruct them with the '1 block only rule' - but if they are new to it, they might not get round to effective blocking anyway!

Blue flag (THEY have to change lane if they are being lapped - to get out of the way) sounds like a good idea to me too.
 
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